Picture of the Week: Pennybacker Bridge in Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas, is famous for many things: live music, being weird, home of the texas longhorns being about 90 minutes from the home of Texas A&M University, and some of the epic scenery surrounding the town.  Also I guess it’s famous for hippies, hipsters, and traffic.  Anyway I make my way down to Austin every so often and went down there this weekend to have dinner with one of my best friends in the world.

I’ve posted pictures of the Austin skyline before and my original intent was to get another/better skyline pic but as I was packing I looked over and saw my drone beckoning me, wanting to fly the skies and create a picture of the week.  Ok fine.

The Pennybacker Bridge has been a staple in Austin ever since its completion in 1982.  It’s named after a highway designer with the Texas Highway Department whose name makes it sound like he should’ve been in a Bond film: Percy J. Pennybacker.  Situated in the Westlake area of town spanning Lake Austin, the Pennybacker Bridge supports over 50,000 vehicles per day.  One of the things which makes it very Austin is it also has a dedicated lane for cyclists, many who use the hills in that area of town to get some extra pump (or whatever cyclists call it I dunno).

My drone was joined by approximately 213978462 other drones in the sky over the bridge on Saturday night but we all worked relatively well together to ensure nothing bad happened.  I captured many different compositions but this is my favorite: a series of 34 pictures blended together to represent the vital role the bridge plays in connecting Austin.  Vital role, connecting people, drone?  Sounds like a picture of the week to me!

For the photographers: I shot this with my DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone.  The drone is surprisingly stable, even when faced with relatively strong winds, so I was able to pull off this shot relatively easily.  I made sure to get the perspective right and then set the camera to manual mode and dialed in a half second of exposure at f5.6 and ISO 100.  I would’ve loved to get a longer exposure (the P4P shoots up to 2 second exposures) but the winds were slightly too strong.  I waited for cars to come by and snapped away, ending up with 34 exposures.  Post processing was fairly easy, I loaded the raws into Photoshop and used the Lighten blending mode for the light trails and then some filters from Color Efex Pro 4 followed by some gradient filters in Lightroom.  As always, please ask if you have any questions!

2 Comments

  1. the problem with this bridge is the traffic. 360 is incredibly busy during rush hour, and the lights really back up.

    Reply

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